January 18, 2000
Peru unmoved by jailed American's hunger strike

                  LIMA, Peru (AP) -- An American woman serving a life sentence for treason
                  will not be transferred to another prison despite the hunger strike she has
                  launched, the prime minister said Tuesday.

                  Lori Berenson, a New York state native and former Massachusetts Institute
                  of Technology student, was convicted by a secret military court in 1996 for
                  helping rebels with the pro-Cuban Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement
                  plan a thwarted attack on Peru's Congress.

                  On Jan. 11, the fourth anniversary of her conviction, Berenson, 30, stopped
                  eating solid food, taking only liquids.

                  "Her hunger strike is an unacceptable pressure tactic and she will not be
                  transferred to Yanamayo prison as she has requested," said Prime Minister
                  Alberto Bustamante, who is also justice minister. Bustamante said doctors
                  are monitoring Berenson's condition to make sure she remains healthy.

                  In October 1998, Berenson, was transferred from frigid Yanamayo prison,
                  12,700 feet (3,810 meters) above sea level, to the lower-lying Socabaya
                  prison, 465 miles (750 kilometers) southeast of Lima, for health reasons.

                  Although physical conditions in her new prison are better, she was allowed
                  more contact with other prisoners in Yanamayo. She has requested to be
                  returned to Yanamayo in the past.

                  Yanamayo is a high-security jail for leftist rebel leaders, where inmates live
                  under harsh conditions but have more freedom to socialize.

                  Berenson has suffered from stomach, eye and skin problems from harsh
                  prison conditions and Yanamayo's high altitude.

                    Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.